Photo: Brian David Mitchell at a 2006 competency hearing.
Crazy like a fox, according to a Monday ruling by federal judge which says Mitchell was faking mental illness and is competent to stand trial for the 2002 kidnapping of Smart when she was 14. Prosecutors believe Mitchell and his now-estranged wife, Wanda Barzee, snatched Smart from her Salt Lake City bedroom and kept her captive for nine months of brainwashing and sexual slavery.
"The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was every parent's nightmare," FBI special agent-in-charge Jim McTighe said Monday.
Smart, now 22, testified in October as part of the competency hearing, saying she was raped after a marriage ceremony staged by Mitchell and abused repeatedly throughout her captivity.
Photo: Elizabeth Smart leaves court Oct. 1, 2009.
Smart was eventually spotted walking on a suburban Salt Lake City street with Mitchell and Barzee. She has since been reunited with her parents and is now serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris.
During his competency hearings, Mitchell would take to singing out loud. His lawyers said it was evidence he was clearly off his rocker.
But Judge Dale Kimball was unmoved. He called the outbreaks a "contrivance" and said, in a 149-page ruling, that Mitchell could assist in his own defense and control himself in court.
Elizabeth Smart's father, Ed Smart, said he was thrilled Mitchell was found competent. "Because he is competent; he's crazy like a fox," Ed Smart said.
A March 26 hearing was scheduled to set a trial date. Barzee, 64, already pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping and other charges as well as a state charge related to the attempted kidnapping of Smart's cousin.
MORE ON CRIMESIDER
February 9, 2010 - Elizabeth Smart Update: Wanda Barzee Admits She Tried to Abduct Smart's Cousin
November 24, 2009 - Child Porn Shrine to Miley Cyrus, Olsen Twins, Elizabeth Smart Lands Wisconsin Man In Jail
November 17, 2009 - Elizabeth Smart Abductor Wanda Barzee Begs "Forgive Me" For 9-Month Rape Hell
October 2, 2009 - Elizabeth Smart Testimony Transcript: I Was Raped "Three or Four" Times a Day
October 1, 2009 - Elizabeth Smart Testifies For First Time, Claims Repeated Rape
September 28, 2009 - Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper: "I Am So Sorry... Can You Forgive Me?"